2020–21 Annual Plan
This is Wikimedia Australia's annual plan for the 2020-21 year. It formed the basis for our Simple Annual Plan Grant application for the same time period.
Following our first two years experience of planning, implementing and reporting against an annual grant, Wikimedia Australia is keen to build on this work in our third Simple Annual Plan Grant application. Following a consolidation phase in 2019-20, our plans have been interrupted since mid-March due to pandemic protocols. The chapter will focus on establishing online outreach activity during July - September, and we look forward to resuming a balance of online and in-person community events when possible.
As well as an allocation to support the costs of managing the chapter, we again seek funds to maintain the two program areas of:
- Community Support
- Outreach and Engagement
Major achievements in our second year included several successful outreach and engagement events, many of which involved community members as facilitators. A key priority for the next twelve months is to build strategic partnerships with a number of these organisations, with a view to sustaining the initial interest and activity.
Our other key activity is engaging with, and supporting the editor community. Our online community meetings have had regular attendance. We plan to conduct a major scholarship program next year to support Wikimania, given our chapter's involvement on the planning committee. The small grants program has been simplified and we will promote this to the community more actively.
Our governance processes are well-established. Recruiting members to the governing committee and increasing the diversity of the Wikimedia Australia membership and committee is an ongoing goal for the next period.
Community support program
The key goal this year is to engage directly with current and emerging editors in Australia. We will continue our monthly online community meetings, which have been successful and a good solution for connecting our geographically dispersed community. We look forward to the time when face to face events can start again and WikiClubs, training events and meetups can continue locally. This program will also benefit from the plan to engage external expertise to create and manage regular newsletters, storytelling for media outlets, and community outreach.
State-based WikiClubs have the opportunity to move to online meetups, and some have done this. Regular events at the local level strengthen community connections and collaborations, support editor retention and provide a known group of editors who can be called upon to support local Outreach and Engagement events.
WMAU provisions WikiClubs to undertake activities like regular meetups, workshops and edit-a-thons that bring the contributors for the local area together, and also support special locally-focussed projects such as WikiTowns and Noongarpedia in WA; State Library staff clubs in Queensland & NSW, and WikiCite in Melbourne. Like user groups, the WikiClubs are saved the burden of legal and financial administration which are provided under the umbrella of WMAU. Local activity in Victoria and New South Wales increased during 2019, and budget has been increased to provide funding to regular activities in ACT/NSW as well as in TAS/VIC.
Indigenous engagement grant
Indigenous content projects, including the Noongarpedia project remain an area of importance for Wikimedia Australia, and the Wikimedia movement. As an Indigenous language project promoting knowledge equity it involves partnerships with both the Noongar and the academic communities and is a tangible model for future Indigenous language partnerships in Australia, and globally. The significant project goal for the next period is to continue to tell the story of Noongarpedia. This will involve engaging with The Noongar community, Western Australian organisations, such as Museums and universities, in order to further develop Noongarpedia. We see it as a priority to follow on from initial engagement with the WMF language committee at Wikimania 2019, to build global understanding of local issues of colonial impact, cultural impediments and support for the project team at Wikimania 2021.
Mini Grants Volunteer Support Programme
WMAU offers a mini grants programme for Australian contributors to obtain resources or share their knowledge about the projects and/or WMAU activities. Funds involved are generally small amounts and designed for maximum flexibility and responsiveness. Most activities are ad hoc, and may be granted for a range of expenses related to presenting at conferences, or hosting events, to purchasing resources in order to generate content, or developing a new skill. All applicants are required to be in good standing as well as to have a demonstrated contribution history available, including providing a report on their activity.
Support for community member engagement in regional and global events
The Australian community feels its distance and isolation from the wider movement. Enabling involvement in global activities - both on-wiki and in-person is very important to us. The development of the East, South East, Asia, Pacific (ESEAP) regional network has been important in building understanding and collaboration beyond Australia. WMAU is committed to being part of and contributing to this network and its activities, particularly Wikimania 2021.
As a chapter we also request funding to be able to run an open scholarship process for Wikimania that enables at least three members of the community to share their knowledge and experiences. It is vital to learn about initiatives elsewhere, that can be disseminated among the Australian community. One of the scholarships will be designated as a diversity scholarship with a focus on new contributors from under represented local communities
Outreach and engagement
Outreach to the wider Australian population is a priority, in order to increase engagement. Wikimedia Australia activities continue to increase the number of people who know about Wikipedia and related projects, who understand how the projects work, and who are attracted to contributing. Specific target audiences include educators, the GLAM sector, and rural and Indigenous communities.
The outreach and engagement program for this period includes continuation of successful activities, a more proactive approach to new opportunities, and increased capacity for responding to partnership requests. We will use external expertise in marketing and media outreach to free up volunteer time to work on training and support for partner organisations, as well as for increased understanding of the value Wikimedia brings to partners.
Competitions generate new Australian content on a particular theme from a broad range of contributors, many of whom are new to Wikipedia. The competitions raise awareness about open licences in the broader Australian community and provide Wikimedia Australia with media opportunities. High quality images, datasets, and textual content can be promoted locally and globally, and there is an opportunity for email conversations with winning contributors. WLE and WLM will continue to be supported by WMAU with cash prizes being awarded and entries submitted to the international judging. The focus will be on promoting these activities off-wiki, and supporting new facilitators. We aim to give Wiki Loves Science another try, and also plan to run a WikiSource challenge to raise awareness of this project, and encourage more proof readers of Australian content, including early Indigenous language records.
Engagement with GLAMs
Wikimedia Australia has a long history of GLAM-Wiki projects and continues to look for opportunities to build awareness of the benefits to GLAMs of partnering with Wikimedia. As well as collaboration with larger GLAMs, particularly State libraries, there are opportunities this year, to collaborate with small to medium regional libraries, historical societies, museums and galleries in the provision of staff training online.
Facilitate online training modules for libraries
During 1Lib1Ref 2020 Wikimedia Australia is trialling facilitated online training for Australian library staff in two states. Once this course is developed we aim to market this as a professional development activity for libraries, particularly in costly to access regional areas. Content is customised for Australian contexts, and facilitated by experienced trainers.
Implement communications and media strategy
WMAU plans to work through the year with a local specialist not-for-profit association services provider to implement our communications and media strategy, including following up on leads generated through events and training. This same provider will be able to help us to implement a strategy for attracting members and donors.
WMAU must continue to fulfil its legal, financial and reporting responsibilities as an incorporated association registered in Victoria, and a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). As well as WMF responsibilities, this includes managing our 2020 Annual General Meeting in August, Consumer Affairs Victoria reporting, and Quarterly Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office, along with the provision of insurance to enable local outreach.
Committee handover and strategy face to face meeting
During the next twelve month period there is a need for a strategic planning summit to set both the mid term strategic plan, and the next annual plan. We recognise that due to travel restrictions it is unlikely that we will be able to hold our strategy planning summit face to face, and have removed that from the budget. We retain the budget for one face to face committee meeting, as this is so important to induct new committee members and develop our culture. The committee is intentionally made up of members from as many different states and territories as possible. We have scheduled this for later in 2020, and hope travel will allow us to conduct this meeting face to face. We will again aim for the following in terms of our governance committee:
- At least 2 new recruits to the committee in 2020
- At least 4 states/territories represented on the committee
- Increase the diversity profile of the committee in terms of language, age, gender, etc